Katie Wright, of Press Association, looks at sun creams that won't harm the reefs.
In May last year, Hawaii started a trend by announcing a ban of sunscreens that contain chemicals believed to contribute to coral bleaching when they wash off into the sea.
The bans are yet to come into effect, but sun cream manufacturers are already responding to the news, producing products that won’t harm reefs.
“For my new suncare range, I didn’t want to compromise between protecting the skin and protecting nature,” says Mathilde Thomas, founder of Caudalie.
“Most brands on sale contains two filters that damage and cause the beaching of coral; oxybenzone and octinoxate.”
Green People has introduced a range that doesn’t contain the two main culprit ingredients, and eradicates an additional chemical that’s dangerous for marine life. “On average, about 25 per cent of the sunscreen ingredients applied to skin are released in the water over the course of a 20-minute swim,” says Charlotte V0htz, founder and managing director for Green People. “Another ingredient in sun creams that is raising concern is ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate. Studies have shown that this chemical ingredient is a hormone-disrupting chemical which mimics oestrogen and could genetically alter the gender of fish.”
According to Goes Foundation, the only safe products are those containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and even these chemicals are toxic. Visit http://www.GoesFoundation
No matter what sunscreen you use, it’s important to remember to apply liberally 20 minutes before sun exposure, and to reapply after swimming –reef damage has proven that no sun cream is truly waterproof.
Six sunscreens that don’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate:
Caudalie Milky Sun Spray SPF30, £20 for 150ml
Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF30, £22.50 for 200ml
Soleil Toujours Organic Sheer Sunscreen Mist SPF50, £32 for 177ml, Space NK
Coola Mineral Cucumber Face SPF30, £36 for 50ml, Cult Beauty
Uriage Bariesun SPF50+ Spray, £21.44 for 200ml, Look Fantastic
Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF30, £58 for 50ml
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